Monday, November 14, 2011

Time for some thought vomit . . . the tasty kind

It's time for another round of this month's favorites . . . and maybe a few un-favorites. Why? Because I wanna. Why else? Because you, dear reader, need this exposure. Trust me.

Food: I think I have a case of the MSGs. Ever since our double date to Sushi Ya with the Jonsters, Richard and I have been craving sushi like Edward craves his personalized crack (please catch this allusion). I was apprehensive by the "all you can eat" aspect of this sushi bar. If working at Whistle Wok and Classic Skating during high school taught me anything, it was to be suspicious of a) cheap Asian food, b) anything served in or around entertainment joints like Nickle City, Jack and Jill's Bowling, or DZ Discovery Zone (remember that place?), and c) all you can eat buffets in ghetto-land Provo. Bad new bears, man. However, I was first relieved and then a bit giddy to discover that Sushi Ya is more than meets the eye. Oh my sultan-of-all-that-is-sushi goodness! Approaching the building you'd suspect--based on the outward appearance--that it would be swarming with FDA coppers, but the interior is nice and the food is even nicer. Yes, nicer! (More nice? *Brain eroding*) It's kind of a fun, little mermaid "under the sea" experience. Cool exterior=big ole goldfish and snapping turtle in a fish pond that keep you happily entertained as you wait. And let's not forget the neat wall murals of the ocean and bubbles and fishies. Oh boy! It's not super posh or nothin', but it ain't ghetto neither.

Now, the food is what matters most and it does not disappoint (and even if it did, it has a strange addictive quality that makes up for anything it might lack. At this point, I'm so addicted that it doesn't even matter to me anymore. I must have those tempura rolls! I MUST!!!). Our top picks have been the Veggie Tempura (cheap for those poor days) the Happy (full of cream cheesey goodness), the Rocky Mountain (towering with tasty fishies), the Orange Julius (by far the prettiest roll I've ever seen, and last but not least--and actually the best--the Spicy Crunch roll. Heaven. Seriously. Oh, Spicy Crunch roll. I love you.

Runner-up on this month's food favorites: Settebello. Honestly, this restaurant by all accounts should have won first place in my heart/stomach, but it just doesn't use MSG like Sushi Ya does. It's like smashed up smarties competing with cocaine. I mean, dag, yo.

DISCLAIMER: I don't actually know if Sushi Ya uses MSG or not. Either way, of this thing I am absolutely positive. I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with edwa...uh, Sushi Ya.

Drink: I just wrote a novel about sushi, so I'll keep this brief. The all-too-hard-to-track-down Pear Yerba Mate Sobe is this beverage month's winner. It was all over the place this summer,
then come September it disappeared. Richard even spent a good hour and a half trying to track it down for me one night. He visited a total of four grocery stores and three gas stations without any luck. But today, a miracle of miracles happened. The glorious Pear Yerba Mate sat contently on the very well-stocked shelves of Macey's. *Fits of glee* Richard is yet again the bestest Husband ever. He don't bring home just the bacon; he brings home the Sobe. The Pear Yerba Mate is at the top of my drink list for the following reasons: 1) Low sugar + slight caffeine=pep without the jitters. 2) It tastes reeeeal good. You get the yummyness of pear without the sometime unwanted texture/peel. 3) Apparently it's a rare collectors drink now, which makes it SUPER desirable. Scarcity drives desire, right? Something like that.


Just now a baby spider strung itself down it's little sticky webby-string from my swoopy bangs. Should I be concerned? Poor little guy was probably getting high on hair spray. Now he's nothin' but spidey mash.

Moving on....

Music: Oh man. Get excited. Are you excited yet? OK, here it goes.

Live music - The band is called Honey, Honey and we saw them open for Joshua James in The State Room. A cool venue and a cool band. Well, a talented band. Let me explain. I feel like they could have been cool if they weren't trying so hard to be cool. It seemed like the lead gal was trying to pull off the tough-girl act, but honestly she probably grew up in a well-to-do neighborhood and had private violin lessons her whole life. And that's OK. She should just role with it. Nothing as awkward as someone pretending to be something their not on stage. But, bless her heart, she's in showbiz and we all know what that does to people.
At any rate, I loved their sound--a "butt country" sound, if I can quote Chris. Or to clarify, a country/rock/blue-grass group with a killer bass player and a very talented lead vocalist who also tore it up on the banjo and violin. She has inspired me to quit my life, get a band together, hit the road in a VW hippy van with Richard, and tour the snot out of the U.S. Chris didn't like her vocals, and I know he's the music authority in our family because he opened for Dashboard, beyond doing a bajillion other cool/intelligent things, but I have to disagree with him here. She had a raw Carlille meets Adele sound with a slew of soulful overtones. Now, some of their songs were just OK for me. They are, after all, just getting on their feet. I'll excuse them for that. My favorite song is featured below (and you may have heard it because it was released in 2010, but I'm just getting back into this stuff so amuse me, OK?).

(I was gonna provide the music video for you here, but my compy is slow. You'll have to do the leg work on this one. Here's the link:

Purchased Music - I know it's a little early, but A Very She and Him Christmas is worthy of year-round listening. Zooey Deschanel, first of all, is just the cutest thing that's ever hit the big screen, radio, and TV. And second of all, who didn't fall in love with her singing in Elf? Well, now you can hear her swoon the Christmas tunes all over again! Favorite moment in the album: She takes the man's part in "Baby it's cold outside" making it less-stalkerish/semi-criminal and giving me a good chuckle.
So yeah, rock on Zooey! And rock on to the Him guy, too. So sorry . . . I don't know your name, but you play guitar like a champ. I love you, promise. :)

Also neat?
<----The new Feist album, Metals. Oh Leslie, you've done it again, you wonderful thing. Check out the new goods here and be happy:

Hmm...I seem to have run out of free time. And my craving for sushi has returned in full force.
Will. Continue. Blog. Later.

But...I can't sign off until I brief this next favorite;

Favorite Husband: The winner is . . . *drumroll* . . . Richard! Although it makes me feel like an old fogy to use the word husband, he is definitely the best! Hands down. No competition. My other husbands suck. (Sorry guys.)
Richard and I have been married six months now, so we're basically experts on this marriage thing. Life with him has been awesome. I mean, have you seen his face?! He's freakin' gorgeous. Whose life wouldn't rock with a little bit of Richard thrown in the mix? I appreciate what he brings to my life. He really keeps me grounded and always manages to make me laugh. I'm forever grateful that I decided to play my guitar, panhandling for money, in front of the Kohler's grocery store back in '08 and that, for some reason, he fell in love with that. :) He's by far the best thing that's ever happened to me.

OK, that's it! Enjoy these favs for now. More updates to come. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Richard Saves the Day

I had started writing a literary analysis for my young adult lit class tonight. Needless to say, after what feels like 25 years of college the following is an understatement: I AM SICK OF WRITING PAPERS!

Understanding my concern, Richard--my wonderful, caring, beautiful husband--decided to take over for me. Here is how the paper turned out:

(There is an intro, but it's long and I won't bore you.). . . . Now, for an author to create a young character with adult-like coping abilities doesn’t seem like a hard task, since the author is presumably an adult himself. He could draw on his experiences as an adult and simply infuse them into his brilliantly crafted young adult character. However, in the case of The Outsiders, a novel brimming with troubled young adults making mature adult-like decisions, the author’s ability to infuse her juvenile characters with adult wisdom seems unlikely. S.E. Hinton, the author of The Outsiders, was only a young adult herself when she put pen to paper and constructed the novel—one that would stand as a timestamp for young adult literature and is considered by many to be the first official young adult novel.

(This is the part where Richard takes over. It's pretty brilliant if you as me.)
Sometimes adults even like to read young adult novels. Even though they are too old, many adults are too immature to deal with real big-boy problems and find it fascinating that a young adult is able to deal with those problems. Its like hearing that Mozart played the piano at age five. Its shocking and fun to read.

Not only are the books fun to read but they are fun to eat. Eating a book helps one to literally internalize the material. Ancient tribes, coincidentally the ones that feel like cameras suck their souls out, feel that you cannot truly comprehend a book until it has been ingested. One fun project that can be done with students to help them see the benefit in ingesting literature is to have each student eat a book. After the book passes into the student’s stool have them fish out any words or phrases that remain intact and have them recompile them into an entirely new young adult novel of their very own. Many young adult novels have been “inspired” by such means. The series “Twilight” is a perfect example of this technique.

My husband is just the smartest, hottest thing since who knows what. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Power of Whining

The wedding and honeymoon were fab. And by fab I mean FABULOUS! An absolute dream. Perfecto! I learned a lot in the process--about TBS (Traumatic Bridezilla Syndrome), the "lose weight, feel weak" stress diet, and making a commitment that may or may not be detrimental to your eternal happiness (I'm banking on the not-so-detrimental camp, because let's face it, Richard is the nicest person that's ever walked the streets of planet earth) But today I want to report on something of greater value that I learned: The Power of Whining!

The restaurant: The Blue Iguana in Park City, over priced and over decorated.
The weapon: Maui Maui fish salad and tacos, probably cooked sometime the week before and fried up in the microwave just before making their grand entrance on our plates.
The place: A tiny, tiny shabby table at the top of a dirty staircase. Other than Richard and myself, the restaurant was pretty much empty. From out tiny table we had a great view of the steaming kitchen below and an entire row of spacious, clean, empty tables underneath the glowing windows of the sun room. We asked the waitress if we could move to another table, pointing to the glorious sunbaked tables of goodness on the other side of the room. She moved us, alright. To a smaller table in a crampier location. Rude!

Maybe it was our ponchos and chacos. Maybe it was my lack of makeup and/or prada and gucci accessories. Maybe we didn't look like we deserved to be in Park City. But it was our honeymoon, dang it! And what Evelyn wants, Evelyn gets! *Bridzilla yalp*

After paying $50 for something worse than Del Taco at midnight, we drove off to our hotel feeling a bit ill. Ill from the food? Ill from the bill? Probably a little of both. My mind got a churnin' and I realized that we could have gone to Red Lobster for that much money. Red Lobster! The restaurant Richard and I can only dream of day, when we start selling off our internal organs. The restaurant with a golden ambiance emanating from it's beautiful lobster marquee. Oh, the coconut shrimp! The biscuits! The little lobster leg metal cracker thingy device! It is delightful and we love it--very, very, very much.

"Richard," I said, "turn the car around. We're going back. We're complaining."

A polite chat with the manager and ten minutes later we happily walked out of the dirty restaurant with a $40 gift certificate and a sense of empowerment. Who knew complaining could be so profitable?

We never, ever wanted to go back to the Park City Blue Iguana. But luckily for us there was another Blue Iguana in SLC where the food was heavenly and half the price. With our $40 dollar gift certificate we were able to get the most delectable assortment of appetizers, entrées, and desserts (try the flan--amazing!) We also ran into Richard's cousin...which was fun and not awkward at all. Ha ha. :)

Moral of Evelyn's ramblings? Whine your little hearts out my friends. No one, even frumpy looking weirdos with ponchos, deserves to get hosed by tourist town restaurants masquerading microwaved fished left-overs as fine dining. And eat at the Blue Iguana in SLC. It made my dear little heart sing!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Name Poem: Santa Clause

Same old red suit, velvety and dark, just like
Antlers—the ones his team of reindeer fashion each year.
Naughty or nice, he visits us either way
To teach us a lesson—that there are consequences for the things we do.
Actions matter, and someone is always watching.

Coal for the naughty and toys for the nice—
Life lessons thoughtfully tucked into festive stockings.
Another bad year for little Timmy,
Unless he takes that frog out of Susie’s hair and
Says he’s sorry. He still has a chance to be a good boy—
Enough time before the man in red issues a final judgment.

I'm dreaming of a haiku Christmas

Christmas Break

Cold, empty campus
Students retreat to their homes
Safe from finals week

(Ummm, I think I should quit school and be a professional poet.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Disco Skating: More than Just One Saturday Night

And everything around me, yeah
Got to stop to feelin' so low
And I decided quickly (Yes I did)
To disco down and check out the show
-Wild Cherry, 1976

“Whatever you do, don’t date the disco skaters,” my boss said, looking at me sternly, “trust me.” It had taken a great deal of pleading and convincing, but my boss had finally let me D.J. Disco Night at the skating rink. I’ll admit it: I didn’t take his advice immediately about the disco skaters (also known as the “regulars” because they frequented the rink regularly at a weekly, if not bi-weekly, basis), but it only took a few dates with these retroactive phenomena to understand his reasoning. Initially, being the high school student I was, I thought it flattering to be asked out by college guys. I just didn’t realize what type of college guys I was dealing with.
Disco skaters are considered to be pretty weird. After all, what sort of a guy has nothing better to do with his weekends than dress up in bright spandex and skate around in circles while listening to ABBA? Some paid big money for their specialized skates and practiced for weeks to win the skating competitions. Some made me personalized CDs of their favorite funk music and begged me to play it later in the evening when the amateur skaters had gone home. And one disco skater—called Kip—refused to call me by anything else but my DJ name (Candy…I know, I know), even when we were on a date. After that, I was pretty weirded-out by him, and disco skaters in general, and the whole culture that surrounded Disco Night. But I stayed. I still worked there because despite its weirdness, there was a piece of nostalgic goodness that I could not leave behind. Needless to say, I have an interesting relationship with Classic Skating and Disco Night. But that little run-down rink has an interesting relationship with Utah Valley, and its college student residents as well.
Despite how bizarre and outdated it and the odd community that frequents the rink are, the legendary activity of disco skating is a must-do on most college students’ bucket lists. And while a great majority only visit the rink once, it’s not unheard of for some to find themselves dragged there a second time for a ward activity by a roommate who, “really needs you to be there” because she’s too timid to talk to “this year’s top ranking ward hotty” without you there by her side coaching every word she speaks and every move she makes. “Plus,” she says, “there will be free Little Ceaser’s Pizza there—and root beer floats!” But whether you’ve frequented this joint once or twice by choice or by force, you’ve known that it was a rite of passage. Something you had to do.
And it’s true. Your education at BYU or UVU is not complete without experiencing the thrill of throwing down five bucks for a long night of rusty skates, swirling track lights, cheap fog, and half blown speakers blaring out “Dancing Queen” in all its nostalgic glory. It is then that your understanding of “what there is to do” in Utah Valley deepens. It is then that you can say to yourself, “I am truly a college student now. I have plundered delightfully at the D.I. I have squeezed my way into florescent purple spandex. I have gathered the courage to commit to 2-3 hours in a building that smells of sweaty feet, moldy pipes, and dusty carpet. I have tasted of the overly cheesed pizza and frost bitten chicken strips. I have rolled on wobbly wheels at least once around the rink without completely biffing it. I have gleefully lifted my face to the flashing light above me and have ripped out “Play that Funky Music, White Boy” without paying any mind to its racially prejudice implications. I have come. I have paid my dues. And I have conquered: The night. The wheels. The Bee Gees. The pick-up lines from the “regulars” who skate better than they walk, despite their tight bell-bottomed trousers. The bruises from the rounds around the rink when I did biff it—and hard.” But now that your education is complete, you can happily drive away from the decaying cement rink and feel quite content never giving it another thought. You can check it off of your to-do list and forget all about it. But after one night (or maybe two), you may have only scratched the surface of all the work and effort that has been put into that old run-down rink in order for you to experience an authentic Disco Night.
For starters, you should know that the DJ works hard to create the right mood for Disco Night. The management of Classic Skating doesn’t let just any old employee DJ Disco Night. It’s the highest ranking position that a DJ at the rink can aspire to. A position that has to be worked up to, not only by becoming a talented DJ, but by working your fingers to the bone (almost quite literally) scrubbing dishes, unclogging toilets, and spraying foul sweaty skates with sanitizer at the end of the night. It’s hard work.
And becoming a good DJ takes a lot of training and a lot of DJ theory. There are distinct methods to DJ-ing, because you aren’t just throwing random songs out there; you’re manipulating energy. A DJ must be able to read his crowd (and I say “his” because it’s rare, at least at the rink, that a DJ is a female). A DJ has to know what mood his crowd is in and how to play with that mood to heighten their emotions. He has to play specific songs in a specific order at specific times. And the order of the songs can’t be preplanned, because the energy and mood of the rink can change so suddenly. A DJ must be sensitive, instinctive, and as my boss told me, “almost go by the spirit” when it comes to knowing what song to play next.
Beyond knowing what music to play and when to play it, a DJ must consider lighting and effects. The lighting must be as dramatic as shocking as the music. Each song requires different lighting, because each song conveys a different mood. Surprisingly, this takes a great deal of thought and “intuitive planning.” Especially since the lighting at Classic Skating is limited due to a tight budget. You’ve really got to get creative. It’s not enough to run the disco ball the entire night (plus it’s impossible because the track lighting that runs the disco ball will over heat after fifteen minutes anyway). The same goes for the black lights. You can’t keep them on all night, or they lose their effect. And sometimes, if a skater doesn’t dress wisely (i.e. sheer clothing), you can’t turn them on at all because it gets embarrassing for everyone else. It’s tricky business.
A DJ also has to be a wise people pleaser. He must juggle between pleasing those who are at Disco Night for the first time and only want to hear songs like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Brick House,” and pleasing the “regulars” who are sick of the generic disco music and want to delve into the songs that are more obscure. A DJ knows that he can’t and shouldn’t play all the songs that are requested. He must realize that most times, people don’t really know what they want to hear. Most of the songs they request would destroy the mood he has worked so hard to create.
Beyond all that a DJ does to create the right mood for Disco Night, the “regulars”—although they don’t have the best reputation—are vital to your disco skating experience. These hardy disco skaters prep long and hard to pull off the looks and moves they bring to the rink. Kip explained that he and his friends start prepping for Disco Night hours before they actually enter the rink. They methodically plan the outfits they will wear and how they will style their hair. They play disco music beforehand so they can be in the right mood and mindset when Disco Night begins. My friend Peter, a die-hard skater in his 50’s, offers classes for the regulars. When I worked there, they’d come to the rink every Tuesday for hour and a half lessons on spins, jumps, and other fancy skating techniques. So when you see a “regular” at the rink pulling off crazy moves, you need to know that he didn’t get that good on accident. Skating well takes a great amount of concentrated effort and a whole lot of practice.
A well trained DJ and these odd-ball “regulars” bring something unique to the rink: they show the majority—the one or two-timers—what skating was like in its prime. When it was a big deal. When it was not only a fad, but an art. They summon that longing for a time and culture that is now lost to most of us. Nostalgia for that great escape to the rink.
They’re also pretty entertaining.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stream of Consciousness, Hear My Cry

For class we had to experiment with, yet again, a unique writing style. (Now, now, don't get too excited. It's not more Twilight fan fiction, because that would be gross.) I chose "The List" because it was short, and I'm smart like that.

1. Where is your cell phone? In the side pocket of my backpack, smushed somewhere in between old granola bar/string cheese wrappers and an umbrella that’s threatening to mold. That’s kind of disgusting. I wonder what sort of creatures of fungus and bacteria are growing in my backpack. And then just think! I put my phone in there--my phone that is pressed up against my cheek for considerable amounts of time everyday. I am so gross.
2. Where is your significant other? At 7:35 am it is likely that Richard is asleep and that his stupid, stinky, needy dog is hogging the bed and forcing Richard out to the exiled perimeter of the mattress. So even though he is still asleep, and has been for quite some time now, he will wake up tired. I hate* that dog.

* Hate is a strong word. In this context it is being used by the writer for dramatic and comical effect. This, in no way, reflects the true feelings of said writer. Because, really, who could honestly hate a chawini dog that was found in a park scavenging for food, half starved to death, who looks up at you from that scrawny little body with those eyes, like two sister moons on fire, that seem to say to your soul, "I've been abused and abandoned. Help me Obi-wan-kenobi. You're my only hope"?

3. Your hair? My hair has become somewhat of a joke to me. This summer I bought a really bright box of red hair dye, thinking it would fade out to something mild. It never really did, and although I was at first frightened to have crayon-red hair, I get so many compliments on it I’ve maintained the unnatural color. I get multiple compliments daily--from random strangers--seriously, like, random strangers. People in parking lots, girls washing their hands next to me in the bathrooms, fast food workers. I guess it turns out that everyone likes crayon colored hair, but no one has the actual guts/stupidity to dye it themselves. The world is living vicariously through me. And I’m OK with that.
4. Your mother? My mother is a saint. Anyone who can raise 11 children all by themselves and have them all turn out relatively normal is a saint.
5. Your father? He died. I know, I know . . . I accept your apology. It’s OK. I’ve dealt with it.

For the most part.

6. Your favorite thing? People! But I guess people aren’t things. So, If I’m thinking of things then I’d have to say my guitar. It’s my catharsis on really rotten terrible no good very bad days.
7. Your dream last night? I was tossing and turning. I had a nightmare that I slept through my alarm and was unable to sneak up to campus to turn in a paper that was technically due last night by midnight. In my defense, I had it done by eleven, but was it my fault that the JFSB was locked? Of course not.
8. Your favorite drink? Water. I’m finding that milk makes me ill and that the citrus acid from juice gives my stomach a good turn as well. *gulp* I think I’m allergic to food.
9. Your dream/goal? To get to bed before midnight.
10. The room you're in? I’m in the library. I live here. I’ve been here since 7:15 am. I came here directly after slipping my late paper (which really should have been on time) in the box by my professors dark office in the JFSB. I’m hoping the darkness indicates that he hasn’t been on campus yet today, and that he took an early night last night and will not notice that my paper was not turned in by midnight. But that’s besides the point....we were talking about the library.
11. Your hobby? Umm...yes? (Seriously, who has time for hobbies when they are a supersenior? I’m probably a supersenior because I once had too many hobbies. Hobbies equal no graduation. Boo.)
12. Your fear? Everyone says dying alone. Now, is that really so bad? I think it would be much more scary for a professor to refuse your midterm because it wasn’t placed in his box before midnight on the 13th of October like it should have been. That’s terrifying!
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? I’ve given up on this question. I’m never right.
14. Where were you last night? Trying to sneak into the JFSB, of course.
15. What you're not? An Amniturner.
16. Muffins? What the random? You’re really asking me about muffins?
17. Where you grew up? Confession: I never really grew up. I just pretend to be an adult when it’s required.
18. The last thing you did? This is a hard question. What does it mean by “did”? I just breathed, and typed the previous sentence, and drank my pineapple orange juice that will give me a stomach ache, and before that--before I came to the library to hang out with all the crazy early birds here--I was reattempting to sneak into the JFSB (but I guess this time it wasn’t sneaking because it wasn’t locked) and before that, well . . . well, I was sleeping.
19. What are you wearing? Sadly, clothing.
20. Your TV? TV is of the devil. It sucks people’s lives away. They spend their time watching shows like Friends secretly wishing they had real friends, just like Phoebe and Rachel and Joey. But the truth is, they’ll never have friends like that, so long as they are glued to that time sucking machine of technological doom!
21. Your pets? Cinder is a stray cat that showed up on our doorstep one day after I prayed that God would send me a cat to be my companion. She’s a pretty good cat, except for when you touch her belly the wrong way. Then she strikes out at you, claws sinking into your defenseless flesh. I think she has a tumor in her tummy.
22. Your computer? I don’t have a computer. Again, I live at the library.
23. Your life? Hahaha...(nervous laugh).
24. Your mood? Does a citrus stomachache count as a mood?
25. Missing someone? Well! Wouldn’t you like to know? . . . oh, you would? Well, of course I am. Always am. Always have been.
26. Your car? My car is the most practical thing I’ve ever purchased. It’s so economic it makes me blush.
27. Something you're not wearing? Socks. I probably should have worn them, because I’m wearing my leather moccasins and I’m assuming they’ll make my feet stink by the end of the day. Oops.
28. Last summer? Well, you know what I did. . . .
29. Like someone? I’m no grinch. I like most people.
30. Your favorite color? I hate this question. It’s one frequently asked on first dates and first days of school and in Relief Society when the teacher knows her lesson will be too short and wants to waste time “helping the class get better acquainted with each other”. I like most colors, just like the way I like people. That is, except for the people who ask me this question.
31. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday. I read the best essay ever! It was about a girl who mourned over the death of her cat more than the death of her grandma. I know that doesn’t sound very nice, but it was hi-LAR-ious.
32. Last time you cried? Dude, I’m not volunteering that information.